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Prime Minister’s Questions – 23rd January

The Houses of Parliament at night
The Houses of Parliament at night • Photograph: Victoria Kettlewell

As Nick Robinson predicted, Prime Minister’s Questions was dominated by “the defining questions of the general election and the next five years” as all parties clashed over the topic of Europe after Cameron’s most crucial speech in her premiership.

The question of which direction Cameron would be campaigning in favour of was carefully dodged over and over again as Miliband attacked his uncertainty. This uncertainty, Labour argued, would affect our economy, our businesses and our international relations.

Attacked by his own party, Cameron was forced to defend himself against the jeers of backbenchers and the opposition with his line that he would want to stay in a renegotiated Europe. Turning the question on Miliband, Cameron coerced Labour into rejecting that they want a referendum.

Meanwhile, a Scottish Member of Parliament ridiculed Cameron for saying that the two-year time frame for the Scottish referendum was too long whilst giving a five-year time frame for a referendum on Europe. Cameron retorted with a remark that implied the Scottish National Party were stupid for thinking of leaving the United Kingdom without even attempting negotiations.

However, although Cameron’s remarks were stronger than Miliband’s, his continued resistance to his backbench Eurosceptics, the Labour party and the rising force of UKIP suggests that his position on Europe will not be as concrete as he might like it to be.

Additionally published by Redbrick.

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